Another NAFEM (North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) is in the books! We had a great time walking the floor and learning more about new trends and designs that are making a splash in the world of foodservice. We got to catch up with some of our biggest vendors, as well as meet potential new ones, and discover innovations to better enable us to continue fulfilling our purpose – to equip people who feed the world.
Here’s what was hot at this year’s show.
Technological innovations have redefined the ways nearly all industries conduct business. From the mainstream use of smart phones to advanced computer systems that save us all time and money. This is especially true in the world of foodservice. At the show we saw our share of internet-enabled remote and programmable equipment that assists in automating cooking processes while providing that individualized experience customers expect. Examples include the abundance of new coffee makers and espresso machines that can be programmed to make that trendy, high-end latte in a fraction of the time (and price) as traditional espresso machines.
There were also plenty of innovations in the beer and wine scene, like this “Growler to Go” machine that allows users to hit a button and fill their own growlers.
Putting the Customer First in Food Preparation
Manufacturers continue to go out of their way to deliver new solutions to better enhance the customer experience. This year’s big focus was on color-coding supplies to prevent cross-contamination, accommodating guests with dietary restrictions. This includes tools for allergy-friendly food preparation. Be on the lookout for more purple products, like storage containers and cutting boards, that signify the product is may contain a popular allergen, like peanuts.
San Jamar unveiled their new bandage dispenser with blue bandages that standout more in food dishes than traditional beige bandages, making them easier to spot and keeping sanitary food prep practices the main priority.
More Environmental and Budget Friendly Options
Another trend in recent years is putting an emphasis on social responsibility and being conscience of energy consumption. This year, every category offered new products that provide high performance without consuming the amount of energy they used to. Such products include holding and transport equipment that can retain heat longer without a utility hookup, and green servingware options.
Water-saving options were also plentiful.
As a distributor, trade shows like this provide an incredible opportunity to network and learn more about what we can be offering to better serve our customers. But the benefits don’t stop there. NAFEM is a great opportunity for anyone involved in the foodservice industry. Meet with like-minded industry professionals, share stories, learn from the best, showcase your products and discover innovations that could transform the way you do business. The next NAFEM will be hosted February 7 – 9, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. We hope to see you there!